SF Sketchfest Day 18: Shakes the Clown revisited!

Julie Brown, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tom Kenny and Dan Spencer onstage at Cobb’s Comedy Club for “Shakes the Clown” Live, 2/9/14.  Photo by Dan Dion.

Bobcat Goldthwait and original cast members Julie Brown, Tom Kenny, Florence Henderson and Dan Spencer joined a fantastic comedic ensemble (including Laraine Newman, Kevin Pollak, Rick Overton and many more) at the live reading of Goldthwait’s cult classic comedy “Shakes The Clown” on the closing day of the 13th Annual SF Sketchfest. Bobcat was overwhelmed by the enormous response from the packed crowd, and added an impromptu Q&A at the end of the program.

SF SKETCHFEST STAFF PICKS: Sarah Crisman Richards, SF Sketchfest Festival Assistant

If you haven’t gotten to participate in SF Sketchfest yet or want to weather the rainy day by squeezing in one more show, here’s a staff pick to help you choose from the final Sunday’s schedule

Meet Sarah Crisman Richards, SF Sketchfest Festival Assistant and “gal Friday.” She lives in the East Bay, where she spends time playfully documenting revolution through storytelling and conversation. She is also corresponding for Laughspin from this year’s festival. She shares, “SFSF is my dream job!”

# of SF Sketchfests you’ve worked: Two

Show you’re most excited for this year: Salute to Coyle and Sharp!

Why: They are the quintessential San Francisco reflection of intelligent absurdity. SF Sketchfest and Jesse Thorn is wise to bring this morsel of comedy history to light. My nerd heart could just pop.

Favorite SF Sketchfest memory: Making my heroes laugh.

Favorite venue in SF: The Punchline for coziness and The Castro for dazzle.


A thirteen year old Cris reps her Macaulay Culkin love!

SF Sketchfest Day 17: Nerds assemble!

Larry B. Scott, Chris Hardwick, Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield, Andrew Cassese, Brian Tochi, Curtis Armstrong and Julia Montgomery backstage at the Castro Theatre for the Revenge of the Nerds 30th Anniversary celebration, 2/8/14.  Photo by Jakub Mosur.

SF Sketchfest celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the 80s campus cult comedy “Revenge of the Nerds” by reuniting seven original cast members – Curtis Armstrong (“Dudley ‘Booger’ Dawson”), Timothy Busfield (“Arnold Poindexter”), Robert Carradine (“Lewis Skolnick”), Brian Tochi (“Toshiro Takashi”), Andrew Cassese (“Harold Wormser”), Larry B. Scott (“Lamar Latrell”) and Julia Montgomery (“Betty Childs”). The spirited conversation, led by The Nerdist Podcast and Nerds-afficionado Chris Hardwick, included lots of hilarious tidbits chronicling their casting, deleted sequences (a whole trip to Vegas was axed from the film) and the sound used to make Booger’s tremendous belches (it involves a camel — we’ll say no more). A standing ovation and a chant of “NERDS! NERDS! NERDS!” rang out as they took the stage, and as the exited before a screening of beloved film.

SF Sketchfest Day 16: Theme Park make for unusual Rockettes

Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins, Rachel Dratch and Ian Brennan form a kickline in Theme Park Improv at the Brava Theater, 2/7/14.  Photo by Tommy Lau.

Theme Park — consisting of Ian Brennan (co-creator of “Glee”), Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), John Michael Higgins (“A Mighty Wind”), Michael Hitchcock (“Best in Show”), Jessica Makinson (“Halfway Home”), and SF Sketchfest co-founders Cole Stratton and Janet Varney — took to the Brava Theatre stage for two sets of lively improvisation. Aided by stories from guest monologist Kevin Pollak (“The Usual Suspects”), their free-flowing bits included a Carnegie-Hall ghost, Aquaman and his unusual talents, a militaristic first grade class, low-stakes prank shows, and (as seen here) a band of misfits somehow initiated into the Rockettes.

SF Sketchfest Day 15: SF Sketchfest Honors Alan Arkin on February 6th


Alan Arkin chats with Kevin Pollak before the screening of the “The In-Laws” at it’s 35th anniversary at the 13th annual SF Sketchfest at the Castro Theatre on Thursday February 6, 2014. Photo by Jakub Mosur

Alan Arkin & Kevin Pollak spoke for over an hour, treating fans to delicious tidbits and impersonations, diving into Arkin’s career, and their past work toghether. Arkin shared about the old days, when he was asked to come to Chicago: “I didn’t think of myself as particularly funny when I got the job. I thought, ‘Ok, I’ll go to Chicago and I’ll work for a hundred dollars for the rest if my life… but then, instead of it being the end of everything, it was the beginning.” They discussed how to choose work, and how to keep a balance between life and ‘making the donuts,’ and the inability to turn down a great script. (On Little Miss Sunshine: “I read the first ten pages and it was all pain. Then I started laughing and I kept laughing for the next hundred pages.”) They introduced “The In-Laws” by talking about how the project started. Arkin saw actor Peter Falk on a talks how and had an instinct they’d work well together. That was it – he recalled that he’d read Blazing Saddles and thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever read, called Andrew Bergman and said, “write a relationship where Peter drives me nuts!’ “Two months later, he came back with an almost perfect script” The delighted Castro crowd rose for a standing ovation when Arkin appeared, and when he exited the stage.